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Exhibition 2: Prime Mover: Conceptualism in Motion

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PUBLIC 46: Prime Mover is a selection of five essays corresponding to five hypothetical exhibitions of works from an influential private collection with which Eamon was professionally involved for more than ten years. The collection, one of the first in private hands to focus almost exclusively on time-based media, has been the subject of a number of graduate theses and museum catalogues, but this publication aims to bolster these efforts towards better understanding of a collection that has altered the field of media art. In a sense, these essays constitute a history of moving-image art starting from around 1900 that is meant to be a resource for students of film and video art, on the one hand, and for scholars investigating the history of collections on the other. Although the five exhibitions imagined here evolved separately, they can be read as chapters of a continuous story, or, alternatively, they can be read as different lenses through which one can look at the history of media art itself, as a necessarily fragmentary history. The different formats and different approaches in this publication all come from the curator’s toolbox, where one is able to place works of art in a variety of contexts, grouping them in ways that both illuminate the works and, hopefully, the history of art as well.
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Keywords: collecting art; contemporary art; media art; time-based art

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 December 2012

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  • PUBLIC is a beautifully designed peer-reviewed journal founded in Toronto as an intellectual and creative forum that focuses on how theoretical, and critical issues intersect with art and visual culture. Each issue's editors explore a contemporary theme by bringing together a unique assemblage of Canadian and international art projects with writing by scholars, curators, critics, and artists. This, along with book and exhibit reviews, creates an assemblage of artists projects and original writing on prescient contemporary themes in art and culture.
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